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Exalting the beautiful

“It is joy by which the labor that will make the life that I want, possible.”–Ross Gay 1 cause

Unlike my gorgeous daughter who was fluent in Spanish, my language skills are malo, a word that basically means “they suck.”

But I have managed to master one phrase: “No gracias!” I use it many, many times a day as I am offered everything from aprons to sombreros to big buckets of raspberries and green beans.

I also use this phrase anytime my ego acts up. Today’s Course lesson (“I offer only miracles today. For I would have them returned to me”) tells me that if I only offer miracles (meaning I offer love and peace and other truths of who I am) that’s what boomerangs back. It’s classic law of attraction.

The Course offers daily tips for saying “No gracias” to all ridiculous ideas thrown out by the ego. The ego wants us to believe there’s never enough, that we’re never enough. It harps at us constantly. “You need to follow these seven steps. You need to be wary of this person. You need to work harder.”

The Course reminds us none of that is true. The workbook, which gives us 365 reminders, is all about overwhelming the ego with sheer persistence. That’s why I practice it year after year. That’s why I say “No gracias” to anything that doesn’t represent infinity, joy, peace of mind.

Instead I says, “Si Si” to the beautiful.

I just heard a wonderful interview with Ross Gay. He’s a poet, professor and author of The Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. He writes beautifully about how joy is an important calling.

“Joy,” he says, “is the moment when my alienation—not just from other people, but from the whole thing — goes away. If it was a visual thing, like, everything becomes luminous.”

Starting on his 42nd birthday, he promised himself to write a mini-essay each day about something that delighted him, simple things like vegan donuts and arugula and loitering. The thing that surprised him about his year of looking for and writing about delight was how quickly the study of delight made delight more evident.

At first, he thought it was gonna be hard, to find something delightful every day. But he writes that, very quickly, he developed a “delight radar” or a “delight muscle.

“I began to realize how frequently I’m in the presence of sweet little interactions that don’t have to happen, but do—like seeing two people sharing the burden of carrying a shopping bag or a sack of laundry.”

Perhaps my favorite part of the interview was Gay articulating that, in the longing for justice, we must exalt the beautiful and tend to what we love, as much as what we fight.

As he says, “I often think the gap in our speaking about and working for justice is that we forget to advocate for what we love, for what we find beautiful and necessary. We are good at fighting, but imagining, and holding in one’s imagination what is wonderful and to be adored and preserved and exalted is harder for us, it seems.”

So in honor of Ross Gay, I would like to exalt the gardener at the Namaste community here in Ajijic. His name is Augustino. He has been tending to the hundreds of plants, trees and flowers here since they were first planted, way before James Twyman bought the place. He treats each one with love and respect. He talks to them. He notices when one of them needs an extra drink of water or to be moved to a different spot. He is in a deep and caring relationship with his little piece of Mother Earth.

So tell me in the comments section below, “What beautiful thing are you willing to exalt today?”

Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).

55 Responses

  1. I am delighted that my Mom taught me how to make chicken curry her way. I love that it is almost as good as hers and that it is a part of my Mom that I will always have with me. It delights me to be from her as she is a strong lady that has been through a lot but is still a lot of fun.

  2. My Husband. For 39 years he has been there for me and the 4 kids I brought to the relationship. At that time I had a 5 year old, and triplets that were 3. Forever grateful to be the “one” for him.😎♥️🐾And of course my sweet rescue beagle mix Emmet. Grateful for you too Pam. You are very inspirational 💋

  3. The birds that come to my suet and hummingbird feeders are a constant delight. Especially the tiny hummingbirds,.. how can they stay warm when it gets down to 35F at night? But they keep coming back and bringing a flash of joy and wonder, each time.

  4. My “delight radar” for today is the absolutely, sunny and stunning beautiful day we are having in Tempe, AZ today. I know I am blessed to be sitting outside writing Christmas cards in 70 degree weather.

  5. My “delight radar” for today is that I am surrendering to one of the most beautiful days we have had lately with no rain and lots of sunshine and warmth, after all I live in the Arizona desert! It is a spectacular day of 70 outside and I know I should run over to South Mountain and seize the day with a great hike and raise my hands above my head in gratitude!

  6. There is certainly much to exalt in my life.I am delighted to hear you are visiting Ajijic as many of my friends in Marin County have relocated there. You may likely meet them: Fay Freed, Ron Lansdmann, Martin and Debra Masters. I warmly invite you to get to know each other- they are my Soul people and I know they will love you!

  7. I want to exalt you for your commitment to living life to its fullest and for taking the time to share your beautiful, yet sometimes challenging, journey with us. BTW, I went to Hay House to pre-order your new book. They had a special price shown, but their site would only link to Amazon which was not the same price. Odd. Regardless, I did order it and look forward to January’s release.

  8. I exalt the concepts of loving kindness and compassion and extended it to those affected by the White island explosion in New Zealand.

  9. I just finished Suzanne Giesemann’s wrap up of the 7 week online mediumship class I just took with some of my buddies an hour ago. It was an amazing class, and she’s doing a follow up one. Pam, Suzanne just built a house 8 doors down from me in Hilton Head. I’ve told my whole group how you are my cheerleader and how you got me started on my “Something Amazing is going to happen to me today” journal 4 years ago. I write in it every day. Our other buddy and neighbor who lives between us is on the international board of Helping Parents Head. Come visit us.

  10. I want to express my appreciation of the Forces of the Universe who put together the “village” which helped my sister in her time of illness and transition. They certainly did a stellar job!!

  11. I hit the Comment button after reading your blog, and guess what time it was? 2;22 of course! That alone is a beautiful thing I want to exalt today, although I could think of several dozen without even trying hard.

    Pam, thank you for introducing me to yet another wonderful soul on the planet. I’m excited to learn more about Ross Gay, and to make 2020 the year I write about something that delights me every day. Sending you so much love and appreciation for being the beautiful being that you are!

  12. The beautiful thing I want to exalt today: I noticed a girl in my Zumba class who was right at the beginning of her weight loss journey. (At my gym they have weight reduction programs in addition to exercise and dance classes.) She had some hard work ahead of her from a physical fitness perspective. I noticed that she was usually behind or close to me when we were in class together and I started to pray for her. She stopped coming for about six months. Now she is back. Every time I see her I feel a surge of joy and exultation. She is a miracle doing hard things and facing her fears.

  13. I’m exhalting The sunset at the Baker wetlands and the way my body feels when I’m running and walking to the rhythm of a song in my head and the crunch of the gravel at my feet!

  14. I’m exhalting The sunset at the Baker wetlands and the way my body feels when I’m running and walking to the rhythm of a song in my head and the crunch of the gravel at my feet!

  15. My dear friend, Donette as she continues to battle Stage 4 breast cancer. She is brave and scared, hopeful and realistic, open, vulnerable and extremely grateful for each day.
    I rejoice in every moment we share.

  16. Today my joy was a head on collision at the grocery store! A little older lady hit me head on with her grocery cart! At first I thought it was someone I knew that was teasing me. Ends up that she couldn’t see over the Poinsettia she had in the top part of her cart. We both had a good chuckle. Within 3 minutes someone I did know jokingly asked if I was ignoring her. She didn’t hit my cart though and we laughed about it too!

  17. Today, it was sunny and snowing while my students were enjoying recess. Just love watching them smiling and being the innocence that they are, they keep me young!!

  18. I exalt today the most perfectly peaceful, beautiful day at the beach – including the amazing, colorful shells, the calm, clear water, the cloudless, blue skies, the sweet, little fish that swam around my feet, the graceful dolphins that swam by – all topped off by a glorious sunset. I am blessed. Thank you, Pam, for all you are to this Planet Earth – bless you always. XO

  19. I am delighted by the prospect of the final full moon of the year happening here in Ohio at exactly 12:12 am on Dec 12. How marvelous is this event!

  20. Delightful was the full moon this morning setting over our majestic Mauna Kea here on the Island of Hawaii. The clouds were like a blanket over the sky until just before dawn when I caught the moon saying a hui hou – until we meet again.

  21. I exalt the little oasis of house and garden we are looking after as house sitters only one block from the ocean in Queensland Australia. Every plant, the little waterfalls running down a huge Buddha face, the sound of the waves in the background, the huge outdoor living area on the shaded verandah – blessings. Time to write, create, walk and be with the dog we are minding – blessings. And every day I say thank you for discovering Pam Grout and her work because my life is now grounded in joy (my choice) – blessings

  22. Here in Cuenca Ecuador tonight I’m in a beautiful old cathedral for a wonderful concert with piano cello and a broadway star, Cindy Benson for Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and the Beetles! I am blessed and thankful. 🙏🥰

  23. The beautiful owl that silently glided across my back yard just before dusk.

    I have a gratitude bowl, and each day I write down something amazing that I experienced. It could be something small and seemingly insignificant or something vast like a breathtaking sunrise. It matters not; I write it down. Then, on New Year’s Eve, I take out all the slips of paper from my bowl and read each one and remember and re-live the moment.

    1. What a beautiful ritual. I’m inspired to do something similar in 2020. Thankyou for sharing this with us Carol 💛

  24. I delight in being able to immerse myself in the beautiful Indian Ocean and swim and experience the healing elements of nature

  25. I am a brand new medium after years of very diverse careers and experiences…I have lived four lifetimes now
    But get my joy…it is the joy of
    WOWs…as a medium, I bring through friends of friends and I get validation from the sitters
    Nothing that I have ever done until now expresses the shared joy I get with the sitter, the spirit and me when we WOW our connection. I am overcome with such joy as to
    what has encountered me.

  26. Hola Pam, exaltation is…. 🤗 That’s the zen of it. How about Rod and I stop by around 6:45am tomorrow, en route to the ‘con? Miracle escort service…. Love Jeff

  27. The beautiful thing I am exalting today is the beautiful dinner with my family. There had been estrangement but today there was reconciliation. Beautiful!

  28. Today I am exalting the sweet, fresh juicyness of the mandarin I had for breakfast. Delicious and refreshing bliss for the tastebuds and the body ☺️🍊
    PS beautiful post thanks Pam 💛

  29. Today I exalted in the idea that although it was a day to get important things done ( we are updating our 20 year old will, dental cleaning, and scanning to get a mask made for my husband’s brain tumor radiation treatment), I delighted in the idea that the roads I drove on had no snow even though it was a frigid -20 below zero (Celsius), and I got a close parking spot at our favorite coffee shop with 2 perfect cappucinnos. I delighted in visiting with my sons throughout the day. I cut fresh cedar boughs for a wreath for my mantle, and gave away sweaters for a boy in need. So much good things to appreciate in my life. Your posts are so uplifting too.

  30. I love good friends sharing great conversations fun and shared love for many things. Today i was gifted with 2 separate outings with friends who both picked up the tab ( we take turns which i love as well) i feel so grateful and honored to know so many wonderful people.

  31. hi dear Pam, I would like to exalt the translation site I use. So I can learn each and every day, with ease, all those beautiful and new words for me, like: exalt and loitering. Beautiful! thank you, always

  32. I exalt my beautiful sister. The blessing s she brings to my life has made all the difference. I am a lucky gal! And I love her so much.

  33. Although you are not a “thing” it is you that I wish to exalt today, for your presence in my life and in the lives of many. In our world of contrast and darkness at times, you are like a beacon of light, illuminating the way… Thank you Pam for all that you are! 😇🙏🏼💖

  34. My delight today is really feeling the Joy in seeing Christmas lights – I see Spirit and my Inner Being in them, as if their twinkling is a way of communicating with me.

  35. This morning over coffee and Yahtzee with my husband, I looked out at the little bird bath his mother gave me. It rests on our stone wall my husband gave me. Yes, he gave me a little lovely stone wall. See? Walls aren’t bad. Walls are walls. Anyway, the bird bath reminded me of what a great gift-giver his mother is. She gives thoughtfully, gracefully, and each gift reminds me to do the same.

  36. Today I will exalt the beautiful of my sacred blood on this full moon, the beauty of my womb and her cycle and how precious it is to have this day to self care.

    And I also exalt the beauty of Mexico and how I long to visit again!

    Sending you blessings Beautiful Pam! Thank you for being a ray of light!

  37. This morning, when I opened the door to the darkness, I encountered the most beautiful full moon!

  38. While waiting for my husband, I drove past a greenhouse with beautiful plants and large twigs on this -15 winter day. It was delightful.

  39. I evaluate children for a living. I went into a home in public housing to find this delightful little two year old that ran to me and gave me the biggest squeeze ever! I thought boy you know to live life little one😊

  40. I think I will exalt my returning memory. I have been taking Selenium 100mg (mcg?) 1xday for over a month. I also take vitamin B12 sublingual (under the tongue). These are supposed to help memory. Then I just let it go.
    I have noticed I am not having as much trouble as before. It’s wonderful and well worth exalting.

  41. Hi Pammie Sue, I delight in the handmade quilt that sits atop my bed. It was made by my loving mother and was the last one she used before passing along two years ago. I think of her awesome love every time I get into bed. Hugs and love, your Williamsport buddy- Rick Mason :O)

  42. One of my favourite little birds – a white and grey pied wagtail – doing it’s fast little walk in front of me when I was coming home from the shops today – delighted me

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